Assalamu Alaikum,

Once in a while we hear someone question the need for halal certification. While it is surprising to learn anyone in the United States is unaware of the need, it may be useful to occasionally remind ourselves why halal certification is necessary.

When consumers used to get their meat from the local butcher, their fruit and vegetables from their own garden or the local farmstand, and their bread from their own oven or the local bakery, consumers knew their suppliers and their suppliers knew them. They all adhered to the same dietary requirements, or the local shopkeepers knew what their customers wanted and made sure they met their needs. Once the local shops began carrying items from outside the area, the source of the food items became unclear. Industrialization made food formulations more complex and globalization brought foods from distant lands to the local shops. It became necessary to develop some form of verifying that food items met the religious dietary needs of the consumers. This was true for Muslims living in Muslim majority countries and was even more critical for Muslims living in non-Muslim majority countries. Hence the need for halal certification developed.

Another question we sometimes hear is why does everything need to be halal certified? Why do peanuts, cookies, or milk need to be halal certified? Raw or fresh food items that are halal in nature may not need to be certified if you get them from the source without any processing. However, once they undergo any processing, the opportunity exists for contamination with haram or questionable products. Halal certification confirms that the halal nature of the product has been maintained. This gives consumers peace of mind and assurance that the product they buy is clear of doubt. The Crescent-M logo on a product label assures that the product you buy and serve to your family and guests is halal and tayyab (pure).


Muhammad Munir Chaudry, president